Updated: Nov 24, 2019
Ryan Turell needs no introduction. The 2018-19 Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year is ready to feast on defenses once again this season. After a dominating freshman campaign in which he averaged 20.1 points/game on 53.9% shooting, Ryan has gotten off to a historically fast start this November. Through four games, he is averaging 26.3 points while shooting a ridiculous 69.6% from the field. When shooting two-pointers, Ryan is 34-40—that’s an insane 85%—and he has already outdone last year’s season high for points on two occasions. Ryan is a core member of the Macs, and the thought that he still has three years to go is a scary one for Skyline foes.
Turell attended Valley Torah High School in Los Angeles. As a senior, he scored an absurd 34.3 points/game, which was 9th in the country (for reference, Zion Williamson finished 6th that year). Ryan received numerous D1 offers, but turned them down to go to YU. He is now the centerpiece on a team which is in search of a second NCAA DIII Tournament appearance in three years, and its first ever win in March.
In anticipation for the home opener this Thursday, I spoke to the Macs’ star.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration has to be my dad. He taught me how to play the game, and I obviously look up to him.
What is it like to have a dad who played D1 ball?
It’s pretty cool. He knows the game really well, and I try to learn from him. He taught and continues to teach me basically everything that I know.
What was the thought process when passing up 5 D1 offers to play at YU?
I couldn’t stay religious if I went to play D1 ball, so YU was the right choice. Knowing that I had D1 offers is enough for me.
Which teammate(s) helped you adapt to the college game the best?
Gabe [Leifer] and Simcha [Halpert] both really helped me adapt. They took me under their wings, and taught me the ways of the offense.
What did you do over the summer to improve your game?
I spent a lot of time working out. I’m still a string bean, but I’ve got a little bit of muscle now. I started last season at about 160, and now I’m at 180. It’s actually been helping me a lot in the post, both on the scoring end and when it comes to getting rebounds.
You have dominated this year when taking two-pointers. Do you think you can keep up your 85% shooting from inside the arc?
I shouldn’t take another 3 for the rest of the season [laughs]. I don’t think it’ll last—hopefully it will, though it probably won’t—but it’s definitely a cool stat right now.
What is the goal for the Macs this year?
As long as we’re playing defense and playing our game, I don’t think that we can be beat by anybody. If we play as a unit, we should win the national title, or make it to the final 4; that’s our goal here. We’ve just got to play as a unit, play together, and strive for greatness.
What are your plans for post-YU life?
I want to pursue playing in Israel for as long as I can once I finish YU. After that, it’s time to start working; I’m majoring in marketing.